It’s not very surprising that the Golden State Warriors send more players than anyone to the 12-man Team USA roster heading to the basketball Tournament in the 2016 Rio Olympics, with winning a third consecutive gold medal being the obvious goal.
No Stephen Curry, and a lot of other players, as the squad heading into the tournament is far from the strongest one possible. But there’s a superstar like Kevin Durant leading the team, Carmelo Anthony going for another gold medal around his neck, fresh-off-winning-the-title Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers, and also the disappointed faces of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and weirdly, Harrison Barnes, despite his awful performance in the Finals.
Team USA has won the gold medal in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic tournaments, while also finishing 1st in the 2010 and 2014 world championships. This will be Mike Krzyzewski’s last go as the head coach of the national team, being the main man on the sidelines through all of these triumphs. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs will take over after the tournament.
The 12-Man Roster
- Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls: The two-time All-Star will make his first appearance on the international stage. He averaged 20.9 points, a career high, last season for the disappointing Bulls
- DeMar DeRozan, Free Agent: DeRozan was on the team that won the gold medal in the 2014 world championships. A free agent, he averaged a career high 23.5 points per game last season for the Raptors. He’s a 2-time All-Star
- Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers: The only NBA champion on the roster after LeBron James declined to join for another Olympic go. Irving has a gold medal from 2014, and averaged 19.6 points per game in the regular season (did a lot better in the playoffs)
- Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors: Like DeRozan, Lowry is a two-time All-Star, also coming off the best season of his career, also making it into the All-NBA third team. He averaged 21.2 points per game in 2015-2016
- Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors: A gold medalist from 2014, Thompson made his second All-Star game in 2016 and also his second All-NBA third team. He averaged 22.1 points per game in the Warriors record breaking regular season
- Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks: The most experienced international player on the team, with two Olympic gold medals from 2008 and 2012. Anthony is a nine-time All-Star, averaging 21.8 points per game last season for the Knicks
- Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors (RFA): The most surprising addition to the final roster consider how poor his form was in the Finals. Barnes averaged 11.7 points per game last season
- Kevin Durant, free agent: Durant returns to the national team after declining to join in 2014 for fear of injury, before an injury plagued season began for him. He won gold in 2010 and in 2012, and averaged 28.2 points per game, making his 7th All-Star and the All-NBA second team
- Paul George, Indiana Pacers: Unlike Durant, George stayed on the team for the 2014 world championships and got injured during the warm up games, missing most of next season. He’s coming off a great comeback year, averaging 23.1 points per game, making the All-Star game and the All-NBA third team
- Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors: Green, unlike Thompson, was classy in defeat (less so in victory). He had a career-best season, making his first All-Star game and the All-NBA second team. He averaged 14 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game for the Dubs
- DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings: The unhappy Cousins brings a taste of true centerism and offense to Team USA. He has a gold medal from 2014, and is coming off another season with an All-Star and an All-NBA second team selection. He averaged 26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game last season
- DeAndre Jodan, Los Angeles Clippers: Made the league All-NBA first team in 2016, quite shockingly, mostly for his improving defense, which is why he’s on the roster. He averaged 12.7 points and 13.8 rebounds per game last season